The Haunting

I read in a book that the spirit of a person who has died suddenly or painfully will remain in the area that they died. It's as if there was such a tremendous energy released from the event that it remains attached to the location of the incident. So, the spirit stays, not knowing it is stuck, unaware that the body has moved on. As a Christian I know there are spirits. Even the bible refers to ghosts and spirits in several different ways.

It seems the choices we make often return to us like ghosts of lost souls haunting us with their memories. People who have lived to make choices, good or bad, at times remain stuck, haunted by a particular incident in their mind long after the body has moved on.

Beginning early on in my life I entered into an on and off again passionate love affair with rebellion. For many years I got away with the affair having suffered little or no consequences, but I did not elude them long. I now realize there were many offspring that came of that long standing tryst. One love child in particular ended in a failed marriage with two beautiful children. Two children I left with their father to raise.

I was barely 19 when I had Joshua, and just at 21 when Erienne came along. Life with their father was hard, disappointing, and at times, down right ugly. I knew nothing about Jesus except that He was some perfect guy who was boring to hear about and I had better things to do than sit on a hard pew for 2 hours and listen about how evil I was. I was a hard headed girl, determined to have my way and do whatever pleased me and me alone. Mmm, rebellion was a fine looking man who had me at hello. (And I am speaking about rebellion being fine, not the ex.)

Quite a few years later I was the stereo-typical unhappy young mother. I had a head full of ideas, a heart full of longing and wild oats that needed some sowing. The decision to leave the children with their father wasn't made in one definitive instance. Rather it was made over several years filled with good intentions. I intended to leave them just until I got on my feet. I intended to have just a little fun before it was back to motherhood. I intended to get them back the next month and the next because I certainly had no intention of leaving them with him. Those many months of unfulfilled intentions added up to the guilt that is the essence of my most familiar ghost.

When Erienne left on Sunday I was in the backyard, left alone with my ghosts. She returned to give me some pictures and found me crying. The same tears of regret that I've shed a thousand times over so much so you would think there would be none left. Regret that she and I do not know one another. Regret that I missed out on so much because I thought I would miss out on so much.

But I was crying tears of hope as well. Hope that as the years pass we will come to have a friendship. That she would forgive me, that I would forgive me and that somehow the Lord would restore those years that the locust had eaten. In my head I know that I am forgiven, if not by them or by myself, then at least by Christ. His grace is abundant, of this I am aware.

But that doesn't stop the ghosts that stay rooted in my memory, haunting me, reminding me of the choices I once made. The spirit unaware that the body has moved on.


  1. when i first started reading this post i thought it would be about halloween or something and got all excited (you know me). then it got deep and i loved it. it just shows how awesome God can be and the grace He shows us. your kids love you....they really do!!!!

  2. wow. thanks for sharing that.
    love ya.

  3. i too thought this post was going to be about halloween. and then it went in a totally different but equally compelling direction.

    i loved it.

  4. wow! thank you for being so transparent Dana!
    love you!

  5. I share your pain & your hope; I left my oldest with his dad when I ran away from that marriage & I still struggle with the emotional consequences every so often. Fortunately, God forgiveness & my son's kind heart are bigger than my bad choices. Keep trusting- He will restore the years the locust destroyed. (((hugs)))


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